Schenectady County

2 Schenectady school administrators cut, tasks go to principals, others

The Schenectady school board approved the elimination of both assistant superintendent positions at

The Schenectady school board approved the elimination of both assistant superintendent positions at Wednesday’s meeting, and spread the responsibilities among five other supervisors.

The change will save about $275,000, but three administrators who currently work 11 months a year will be paid for an extra month’s work next year. The change will take effect July 1.

Most board members spoke highly of the change, but member Lisa Russo said she wasn’t sure it would work. The plan assumes that the supervisors can handle the assistant superintendent duties as well as their own. In theory, they will work more closely with principals, giving them more authority over how children are taught in their school.

“I’m still not entirely sold on it,” Russo said. “Unless I’m truly confident, I have to vote no.”

Board President Cathy Lewis read a statement from Vice President Ron Lindsay, who was not present.

“I’m in full support,” he wrote. “This enables the school district to move forward, save some money, and strengthen the lines of communication between administrators and staff.”

Board member Andrew Chestnut agreed, saying, “It’s a more efficient structure. I’m very happy to support this.”

The item passed 5-1, with Lindsay absent.

In other business, long time district critic Bill McColl surprised the board by offering compliments.

“I feel honor-bound and duty-bound,” he said. He told the board, which includes four new members and a new superintendent, that they have turned the district in the right direction in their first six months.

He praised the reorganization of the budget, which was so vague that Superintendent John Yagielski said when he took over that he didn’t have enough detail to run the district’s finances.

McColl said Yagielski’s rewriting of the budget to include those details is “excellent.”

“Maybe you won’t get it to absolute detail, all the way down, but bingo! That is exactly what you’ll need,” McColl said.

He also praised the decision to eliminate the assistant superintendents.

“This new management team idea is wonderful,” he said.

He thanked the board for changing meetings to encourage public comment — to the point of providing microphones and seats at the board’s table to facilitate conversation.

“You’re much more responsive to the public,” he said, adding that it was a good effort even though few residents speak.

“Even if they don’t come, the structure is there,” he said. “Wonderful, guys.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply